Technovation: Over 100 Girls Compete for Climate Change Skills, Innovative Ideas

Folalumi Alaran in Abuja 

No fewer than 100 young girls drawn from secondary schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, are locked in two-day technovation competition: a programme designed to bring out the skills and innovative ideas of girls in battling climate change. 

This is as Nigeria has recorded the highest in the over 2,000 apps submitted for the competition for 2024.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Stella Uzochukwu Dennis, the Programme Director for Odessy Educational Foundation, and Chapter Ambassador for Technovation in Nigeria, declared that the finalist team of the programme would get an all expence trip to California, USA.

“This event marks a significant milestone in our journey towards empowering young girls through technology and innovation being the 8th year we started this journey and the Nigeria team represented several times in California as the finalist of this programme would get an all expense trip to California. I extend my heartfelt welcome to each of you for being part of this transformative movement. I want to say that over 2,000 app were submitted this year and Nigeria has the highest number  of apps  in the quarterfinalist stage.

“Technovation programme is a beacon of hope and opportunity for our girls. It equips them with the skills and confidence to solve real-world problems using technology, fostering a sense of empowerment and independence. These young innovators are not just learning to code; they are learning to think critically, work collaboratively, and lead fearlessly. By participating in technovation, our girls are breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.

“For our mentors, technovation offers a unique opportunity to give back to the community. Mentors play a crucial role in guiding and nurturing these bright minds, sharing their knowledge and expertise, and inspiring the next generation of tech leaders. The mentors’ dedication and commitment are invaluable, and their influence extends far beyond the classroom, shaping the future leaders of our nation.

“The benefits of technovation extends to our state and country as well. By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, we are building a stronger, more resilient economy. Technovation encourages the development of local solutions to local problems, driving sustainable growth and development. It also positions Nigeria as a leader in the global tech industry, attracting investment and creating opportunities for our youth,” she said.

Dennis decried the lack of financial support from the government and agencies despite the immense benefits to the country and the world at large. 

Also speaking, Peter Burba, First Secretary, Public Diplomacy Section, Embassy of the United States of America, noted that the embassy has been working with the convener for several years being an alumnus of tech women programme of the consulate.

Burba said the Nigerian girls have a long history of success, hence the embassy had  supported the programme financially in the past, adding that this year, it has given the America Corner free for the events. 

He presented relevant books for the winner team that would eventually emerge from the event, adding that the Embassy would continue to keep track of the successes of the event.

Vivian Gwande of the Life Aid International Initiative, described the turnout for the programme as impressive, stressing that the homegrown climate change solutions being provided by the girls is amazing.

“Having communication with Technovation and Odessy Educational Foundation, it is very impressive to see the number of girls that are coming out doing this. This last year, there is this group of girls that won the competition, they are doing amazing things and they are still thinking about going out there, looking for what is in their community, and how to solve it. And they are coming up with solutions for climate change, and creating awareness to just everybody in general on how this affects your community,” she said.

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